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Cloud-Based Software Solutions That Won’t Cost You a Dime

cloudbasedtoolsAs a college student, the last thing you need is another expense. Between rent, food, books, your phone bill and Friday night pizza and soda, your budget is already strained to its breaking point. Fortunately, when it comes to software, these cloud-based programs won’t cost you a dime. Consider these three:

Google Docs

Rather than shelling out money for Microsoft Word or Excel, Google Docs is a free program that you can access from your mobile device or computer. Google Docs lets you create a new document, or work on another one that was started on by someone else. One of Google Docs’ coolest perks is its collaboration feature that lets you invite others to see what you are doing. For example, if you are working on a group project for Psychology 101, you can share your work and confer with your classmates on a document at the same time—all from different locations. Everyone will have their own unique cursor in the document so you can watch as they type in additions and edits to the project, and you will all have access to the latest version of your work. Since Google Docs automatically saves things as you go, you won’t ever experience that sinking feeling that comes with lost work. Google Docs also features some nifty editing and styling tools including images, tables, and thousands of fonts.


If you are looking for an easy-to-use and free cloud-based storage system, you can’t go wrong with Dropbox. Dropbox gives you access to your school work and other files from any computer or mobile device, and it comes with 2GB of free space. Instead of emailing yourself important term papers that you are working on—and running the risk of your work being lost in cyberspace—you can instantly find your files. Dropbox is limited on storage space, however, so if you find that you need more storage space, choose a different cloud service provider that offers a larger amount. Compare providers at, a site featuring in-depth reviews and pricing info on 10 reliable cloud storage services.


Pixlr is a free cloud-based online program that includes plenty of tools, photo editors and photo sharing abilities. Pixlr can transform your computer, smartphone, or tablet into a mean, lean photo editing machine. Once you download the Pixlr program, you can transform your photos into works of art by cropping, rotating, and adding in borders and overlays. Once you create your free account, additional premium content will become available; this includes Auto Contrast and Double Exposure features. It will also help you create a professional looking photo collage with proper spacing and backgrounds, and if your photo is dark or washed out, the Auto Fix feature will improve the colors. The program also allows you to channel your inner artist by transforming your selfies into pictures that look like watercolors or pencil drawings. It even allows you to remove that alien “red eye” look that is common in photos. When you are finished editing your photos, they can easily be shared on social media sites.

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